Guest Bathroom Thistlewood


In the south……there’s a saying that you use when you don’t really know what to say.

When you’re overwhelmed.

Or confused.

Or astounded.

When you’re faced with a situation that is so extraordinary….you are simply at a loss for words.

And you should remain silent…..and you know that you know that you know that…..

…….you shouldn’t say a word.


Spring trees

But sometimes you have to respond.

So when faced with a commentless situation where it’s necessary to say something… shrug your shoulders…..sigh….and drawl….”Bless her heart.”



Bless her heart.

It’s the perfect saying, really.

You can say so much with just that one little phrase.

It sums everything up so succinctly.


Bless her heart.

I’ve said it when I saw someone at Wal-mart buying 17 dozen boxes of Reese’s Pumpkins at the after-Halloween clearance sale.

I’ve said it when I went to a yard sale after driving for 8 miles only to find the yard full of broken down washers and dryers, a stack of mis-matched dishes and one Hooter’s t-shirt.

Guest Bathroom Christmas Decorating

I’ve said it to velvet Elvis paintings and plastic flowers planted in the ground and t-shirts that say “I’m with stupid” and even an occasional droopy hydrangea or two.

But I’ve never said it to a tree before.

Until I put this tree up.

Christmas Tree

It was the last tree left.

Bottom of the barrel.

By the time I got to the guest bath…..all I had were four white ornaments and some random letters I tied on a ribbon.

No fancy decorations.


Totally utterly and completely “bless your heart.”


spring tree with pine cone


But don’t worry.

I have a back-up plan.

I’m distracting you from my “bless your heart” tree with a little junkspiration.

Springs…..made into trees.

I knew when I saw them they were destined for greatness.

I was so happy when I found them this fall at a yard sale behind two trees and sitting on a table…..

……in the appliance section. 🙂

PS  Bless that yardsale’s heart. 🙂

Want to know how to decorate your home for free?
Click here to get my FIVE BEST secrets.


  1. Image for Amy@the Avery House Amy@the Avery House

    Oh KariAnne! Bless your heart, you have gone and done another great post! And yes being a Southerner myself I also know that "bless your heart" can be used as an expression of sincere gratitude when someone has blessed you with a gift straight from the heart. Well you certainly do bless others with your gifts of creativity and wonderfully witty blog posts. I have been so entertained and wowed since finding your blog home. Oh snd btw I think your little guest bathroom tree is precious, bless its heart. :-)

  2. Image for Colleen Colleen

    Ahhhh, bless her heart is a frequently used phrase around these parts. It kind of cracks me up every time I hear it. My kids know when I say it, I really want to say more....but ought not. I love your bathroom!

  3. Image for Pamela Christopher Pamela Christopher

    I loved the saying and the springs used in such a sweet way. You have awesome ideas. Merry Christmas

  4. Image for Sandra @Beneath this Roof, Within these Walls Sandra @Beneath this Roof, Within these Walls

    Karianne, that is quite possibly the cleanest bathroom I have ever seen. Remind me that if you ever visit me, you are not allowed to use my bathroom. Not that you would be caught dead using my bathroom;, you would take one look and say "I have to run down to Casey's and get a Yahoo and a Moon Pie. I'll be right back, bless your heart". But I think your tree is lovely. Simple, clean, elegant. and fits nicely in with that spotless bathroom. Does anybody actually USE that bathroom? The letters on ribbon are precious. I mean, is that bathroom a back-up in case your nosy Aunt comes to visit? Bless her heart.

  5. Image for Peggy Peggy

    Ah your tree is so sweet! especially in this bathroom... any more and it might be too over the top! Can you imagine it now.... a nice soak in the tub with a scented candle or two and twinkly lights on the tree??? It just screams elegant, refined, simplicity at its best!! Bless your heart, your little tree is simply sweet (and I mean that in a good way.... not in the but "its what on the inside that counts" way!!) Have a wonderful day! Now I'm off to drop a boy off at school and then sneak in a little Starbucks.... and maybe a Panera pastry!!

  6. Image for Amy W. Amy W.

    Clasp My Pearls!!! are way to funny!! Hilarious infact!!! Thanks for the good start of the morning giggle!!! Wishing you a Great Day!!

  7. Image for Cynthia @ A Button Tufted Life... Cynthia @ A Button Tufted Life...

    Well... you did it Karianne, Do you remember that song from Heart... ( you may not be old enough!) she sings... "he's a magic man momma" You, are a magic gal if that pretty little vignette is the last to come out of your creative bag of tricks! I think it is perfect. Have a great day, and keep those beautiful ideas coming, you inspire us all! Cynthia

  8. Image for Beverly Beverly

    Yep, I've frequently used that phrase myself. It is like a "heal all" phrase, and perfect in so many situations. Your little, white and very last tree is just perfect, KariAnne. I've been thinking I need a little white tree for my home office. But, I've only gotten as far as thinking. Love the reindeer pieces. Are those cabinet doors? Seventeen more work days. I'm definitely counting.

  9. Image for Tracy J Tracy J

    Thanks for the smile this morning! You never let me down. I didn't really start using the "bless your heart" phrase until I reached my forties. (And I seem to use it more with strangers than friends, for some reason.)

  10. Image for Sonya@Beyond the Screen Door Sonya@Beyond the Screen Door

    Karianne, I thoroughly enjoy (I mean REALLY enjoy!) each of your posts and this one is no exception! Thank you for all the smiles, giggles and out right laughs! Your home is absolutely gorgeous all the time but so especially beautiful all decked out for Christmas! Love this bathroom and I can relate to bottom of the barrel decorating. Done it myself quite a few times. And just for the record, you are spot on with why we say "Bless her heart"! I've heard it said that we really mean something derogatory when we say it...but that's not true! When used correctly it perfectly describes the situation! :)

  11. Image for Stephanie C Stephanie C

    I really love your blog... your sense of humor. Your fun way with words. However, frustratingly, your images often don't show on the page. Just a blank box. I'm using Chrome. Does anyone else have this problem???

  12. Image for Susan M. Susan M.

    Without a doubt, another post with beautiful and inspiring pictures. But OMG, the accompanying story had me spitting and choking on my coffee. Thank you for sharing your wit and humor and oh yes, those bless your heart appliances... you made my day!

  13. Image for Robin Robin

    I just like to bless your heart too! I loved your post today. It is gorgeous, but the writing is wonderful too. Often times, people don't read the post, they just look at the gorgeous pictures, but yours is exceptional and warm. Merry Christmas!

    1. Image for Amy Amy

      Yes - Please tell us all the name of this beautiful wall color! I am still in the hunt for that perfect Grey/Gray after hundreds of samples and your bathroom walls (and everything else about it) is wonderful! Truly enjoying following you and your adventures!

  14. Image for Bliss Bliss

    I have a pile of springs in the garage. Bless their hearts. Or maybe here if I make something out of them it will be Bliss their hearts? Bliss

  15. Image for Trish @TheOldPostRoad Trish @TheOldPostRoad

    We use that phrase, too! I have that same footed milkglass urn. I used it in a painting, or two here and . (i like it with hydrangeas, for some reason?) Love your style of storytelling! -Trish

  16. Image for Jolie Jolie

    Love this post and truly love that little white tree and its simple decorations. Lovely! Can you share the color that is on your bathroom walls?

  17. Image for Donnamae Donnamae

    Not being from the South, I don't know if I can even say this, but...Bess your heart! You have managed to take from the "bottom of the barrel"...and make it beautiful, as only you can do! And all the while , entertaining us with your wit and prose! Love that little spring tree with've made my day, Karianne! ;)

  18. Image for Regina Regina

    Bless YOUR heart, you're bringing springs to a whole new level!!!! It makes me want to scour those antique and collectibles places sections that I usually skip in order to get to the shiny stuff! :) Love your bargain-basement tree, love the WHITE! You are so brave . . . . . When I got to my tiny little kitchen tree, I noticed I had 3 larger metal cut-out stars left, 2 red and one bronze. . . and so those are the only things adorning that tree and I LOVE IT! Sometimes simpler really IS better!


    You are so cute!! I love the springs, so clever!! and you made them look great by painting them white and putting them in a white container. I am not southern, but have many southern friends and trust me I have said quite a few Bless their hearts in my day, even in California! Happy Thursday, Kathysue

  20. Image for Janice Janice

    I was once told you could say anything about anybody if you just started off with "bless her heart." Your bathroom is gorgeous!

  21. Image for Kathleen Kathleen

    As much as I love decorating for Christmas, why has it never occurred to me to decorate the bathrooms? I am so going to do this! I love the white tree and the beautiful simple ornaments. Thanks for the ideas!

  22. Image for shirley@housepitalitydesigns shirley@housepitalitydesigns

    Well, Kari...all I can say is that you are "blessed" with a beautiful "heart"....No, "bless your heart" for you!!... Spring trees?...cannot wait to see that project!!

  23. Image for Suzanne @ Welcome to Willow House Suzanne @ Welcome to Willow House

    I first heard this phrase when I moved to The Deep South. I'm talking rural. Finally someone told me that you could say anything you wanted about someone else, provided you followed it up with "bless her heart..." Oh, my! I like your version much better! Your little white trees look neither neglected nor forgotten, but just perfect for your bathroom. And the spring trees -- love, love love! Thanks for sharing!

  24. Image for Audrey Zumwalt Audrey Zumwalt

    LOVE it ... thanks for sharing. You post such an interesting story and your pictures are just the best. Christmas Blessings. Audrey Z. Timeless Treasures

  25. Image for betsy betsy

    I always think of my grandparents and dad (all from KY) when i hear that expression. My sister and I still use it pretty regularly. We get some strange looks from people who just don't get it, but we don't care. Bless their hearts, anyway ;-)

  26. Image for laurie laurie

    You are just sooo cute! I often say BYH, but haven't said it about a Christmas tree yet. Long ago, on a chalkboard in my kitchen, I wrote, "Bless Her Heart; She doesn't even know she's tacky", and those words have remained on that chalkboard. I think your little tree looks pretty, and I love your bathroom - gorgeous! I also love the little "spring tree" - clever, clever. laurie

  27. Image for Maria @ Inspiration Affirmation Maria @ Inspiration Affirmation

    Trees made from why didn't I think of that? ;-) I love all of the white in your decor -- so very fresh and pretty! Can't wait for tomorrow!

  28. Image for Diane Diane

    Love this Karianne, I had to Pin it onto my board for my daughter, she is from Michigan but she is now a neighbor of yours. She needs to know what one should say now that she lives in Kentucky. Or possibly what people mean when they ay it to her, lol. Loved reading it.

  29. Image for Bethanie Henry Bethanie Henry

    Working with children, I seem to say "bless his/her heart" on an hourly basis...sometimes its just a long drawn out "bleeeeesssss"! In the South you can say otherwise kind of ugly things as long as you cushion it with a sweet "bless your heart!" I grew up in the North, we didnt cushion it up there...after 25 years, its rubbed off and is much more pleasant.... :) Everyone should adopt it!! Love your little tree!!

  30. Image for Kim @ Cheap Chic Home Kim @ Cheap Chic Home

    I totally adore the white trees and spring trees! Bless your heart for thinking to put them in your bathroom--I just saw those little tags yesterday at Michael's, I wish I would have snapped some up. Hugs!

  31. Image for Jeannine @ The Concrete Cottage Jeannine @ The Concrete Cottage

    An old friend of mine once told me that you can say absolutely anything about a person, and not be considered rude, as long as you follow it with "Bless their heart". I'm not sure that's true, but I like to think it is! :) Lovin' the springs AND the Bless Your Heart tree!! I don't think there's anything you can't make beautiful!!

  32. Image for Barbara F Barbara F

    I LIKE that little tree, but I LOVE the bathroom. Oh - I'm still suspicious of the 4 kids that supposedly live in the house. It's just too picture perfect.

  33. Image for Kelly Kelly

    I love your bathroom. I have to admit, Ive never seen a Christmas tree in a bathroom before.Is this a tradition in your home?Its cool but my family would be saying Bless Her heart ,as they were tightening my straight jacket straps! Happy Holidays!

  34. Image for Laura Laura

    Who knew. In the middle of the night last night when my uncomfortable mattress was driving me crazy, I could have gotten up, ripped it apart and made some sweet little trees :)

  35. Image for Anne Anne

    I have to say that I completely lost focus on reading what you wrote when the first picture of the spring trees popped up... LOVE! Love that you painted them white and the pine cone too. Awesomeness! Um, so what were you talking about??? Guess I need to go back and actually read the post now. :) Happy Friday!

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